47WILLSHEE’S WASTE & RECYCLING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
The company has a fleet of over
40 vehicles
Dean, Maria, Jenna and
Craig Willshee
Willshee’s are a family-owned waste and recycling
company offering waste management services to the
domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. They’re
based in Burton upon Trent in the heart of the Midlands, where
they operate out of three sites. Their recently purchased third
site in Swadlincote is to promote further growth and is due to
become their flagship site. The company was founded in 1984
by Keith and Maria Willshee with one vehicle and ten skips.
Today, all of the second generation of the family work within
the company. It’s now headed by Dean Willshee, the managing
director and eldest son, who writes the following piece.
I started with the company straight from school, working alongside my father
at every level of the business. This has given me an in-depth knowledge of both
the business and the waste and recycling industry. Over ten years ago, I spotted
a gap in the market within the local area: there weren’t any waste companies
offering an all-encompassing waste solution for the commercial sector. This was an
essential need for a commercial customer and so we began to broaden our services
accordingly. Good customer service is paramount to our business and with a total
waste management solution, the company has gone from strength to strength.
Services that we now offer include:
»Commercial waste collections on any
scale
»Zero waste to landfill
»Recycling options and initiatives
»Account management
»Waste and recycling reports
»Hazardous waste
»Equipment rental
FACTS ABOUT
WILLSHEE’S WASTE & RECYCLING
»Founded by Keith and Maria
Willshee
»Established in 1984 with one
vehicle and ten skips
»Based in the Midlands
»Services: Waste management
and recycling
»No. of employees: Over 90
across 3sites
»200,000 tonnes of waste
processed each year
»Have been in the top ten
fastest-growing waste and
recycling companies for the
past two years
»www.willshees.co.uk
Willshee’s Waste &
Recycling
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | WILLSHEE’S WASTE & RECYCLING
» CHALLENGES
FORWILLSHEE’S
»Solutions for single-use
plastics
»Insufficient capacity in
the energy-from-waste
sector
»Supply to the energy-
from-waste sector
is dominated by the
multinational waste
companies and local
authorities
We have had some huge successes
over the past year, which include
signing a contract to supply waste
wood to biomass plants within the UK,
and our first contract to supply refuse-
derived fuel within the UK. Willshee’s
was awarded medium-sized business
of the year and overall business of
the year at our local business awards.
The judges awarded it to us on the
basis that we excelled in health and
safety and staff development, along
with our outstanding financial growth.
We were also named by the London
Stock Exchange as one of the 1,000
companies to inspire Britain 2018.
Our major milestone, though, was
securing our third site. This was a long
process, as securing planning for a
new waste site is notoriously difficult.
Once fully operational, this will be one
of the largest waste recycling centres
in the Midlands. This was extremely
important for the business, as this
enables Willshee’s to succeed in the
growth plans we have projected.
As a company, we believe that our
success comes from continued financial
investment in all areas of the business
including:
»Health and safety
»Staff training and development at all
levels
»Modern and environmentally friendly
vehicles and machinery
»Operational improvements where
needed
»Digital software
The challenge for Willshee’s over
the coming years is to maintain and
develop new outlets for all our waste
materials. We are investing in the most
up-to-date separation technology,
which will allow us to take waste into
our depots and produce raw materials
for recycling and refuse-derived-fuel
(RDF) for energy-from-waste plants.
Currently in the UK we have a shortfall
of outlets for our materials. This means
the majority of our recycled cardboard
and plastic film still goes to Asia.
Although these outlets are sustainable
and credible, UK options would be our
preferred route for recycling. But with
that said, all our processed wood is
recycled or used in the UK.
One of the biggest recycling challenges
we face today is single-use plastics –
Biomass processing
facility
We excel in
health and
safety and
staff
development
49WILLSHEE’S WASTE & RECYCLING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
we have all seen the damage caused
by this product on wildlife around
the world. We are currently looking
at a method which processes single-
use plastics back into a fuel. This
technology is still in its infancy and may
take some years to be fully developed.
The challenge we encounter for non-
recyclables as a business and as an
industry is having insufficient UK-based
energy-from-waste plants to deal with
the levels of waste created in the UK.
Willshee’s have a contract to supply
40,000 tonnes per annum of RDF
within the UK; the remainder of our
RDF is sent to energy from waste plants
across northern Europe. The limited
amount of UK outlets is a concern
as we continue to grow our business
and our tonnages. The implications of
Brexit are still unclear, particularly with
respect to the export of RDF material
and how it will be affected.
The UK is estimated to generate over
50 million tonnes of waste per year,
with a current capacity of 14 million
tonnes used in waste-to-energy plants
within the UK. The UK is currently
exporting 3.2 million tonnes of RDF
each year to Europe to be used in
energy from waste to create electricity
and heat to supply district heating
networks. The provision of RDF for the
energy-from-waste sector is dominated
by the large multinational companies
and local authorities, giving little or no
access to medium-sized businesses like
Willshee’s. We are therefore concerned
that we will be sending our RDF to
Europe or other parts of the world for
many years to come, meaning that
the UK economy is missing out on a
valuable source of energy.
RDF is a sustainable direct carbon fuel
replacement and with energy plants
becoming more required than ever
and waste in no short supply, we feel
as a company that the government
should be providing support for
the energy-from-waste sector, as
governments across Europe have done
for many years. This would help the
UK become more self-sufficient with
its energy requirements for many years
to come.
Whatever challenges are set before
us, Willshee’s will overcome them and
continue to grow and thrive in what is
an innovative and exciting sector. We
hope the waste and recycling industry
will soon be recognised as a fuel and
resource processing supplier.
As an industry,
we have an
insufficient
amount of
UK-based
energy from
waste plants
to deal with
the levels of
waste created
within the UK
» ACCREDITATIONS
AND AWARDS
»ISO 9001
»ISO 14001
»ISO 18001
»Safe Contractors
»Fleet Operator Recognition
Scheme – Bronze Award
»
Burton Mail
medium-sized
business of the year and
overall business of the year
»Named by the London
Stock Exchange as one of
the 1,000 companies to
inspire Britain
Commercial waste
collection vehicle